Monday, 22 September 2014

100 Days of Solitude

It's an exercise that Shrink has set me.

I am by nature quite a recluse.  The nature of my work (I'm a CEO of a company that teaches people how to manage relationships - and yes - more irony - I get it) means that I spend all day giving energy to people. I'm actually quite an introvert.  I get my energy from solitude.

Hubby and I bought a beautiful diningroom suite about 10 years ago.  I imagined many laughing evenings entertaining our friends with wine and food.  In reality, we've had possibly 2 dinner parties in all that time.  We're just not the kind of people who socialise a lot on weekends.  We like doing our own thing.

It's not like I don't have friends.  Actually, for a lot of the time I have run my 18 year-old business, I have either employed my friends, or become friends with the people who work with me.  So we're in each others' space a lot at work - no need to do more of that on weekends!

I kinda grew out of the 'employing my friends' a few years ago. I should then have started changing my behaviour with them - connecting more often; taking them out for coffee and catchup sessions. I'm most content when I'm having a long glass of wine with a dear friend, one on one, unpacking the truths and lies of the world.  Its so rich for me.

BUT I've also trained my closest friends not to expect to spend time with me often.  We have prided ourselves in having deeply rich and loyal friendships that survive children and busy lives - we are delighted at our ability to take up where we left off 6 months ago without skipping a beat.  None of us feel neglected or abandoned after months of no contact. We know we love each other.  We're walking a path that will take a lifetime to unpack. We're cool with that.

Until I fell into this hole. I needed rescue. Emergency care. Daily connection to keep me from going crazy. People looking in on me to distract me from my fear that I was going to die.  None of my friends realised how bad I was. They didn't really know what to do for me.  I got some "how are you?" and "chin up" messages from them.  But not what I needed. Actually I had no idea what I needed.  If they'd asked, I would have had no idea what to tell them.  "Not this"?

So maybe solitude isn't as good for me as I thought.  I need to find new ways of engaging my friends.  I have 100 days in which to do it.  Last day is 18 December.  By then I need to have figured out why I behave like this, and how to be different.  How to get the support structure I need.

Hubby isn't an option: I kind of burned that bridge when we agreed to see other people.  He has another person.  I don't. I have an ex lover Narcissist who is trying to get back into my life by using my weakened physical and emotional state to manipulate me.   I get daily attacks of love bombing or abusive behaviour. One day he's proposing to me, the next he's telling me another pile of stupid lies. It's relentless and exhausting.  And of course, there are days where I don't hear from him at all.  Those are the days he's off shagging his next conquest.  Which he denies of course.  And because I've broken up with him, and because I know I've escaped him, I really shouldn't care.  But it bothers me anyway.  Especially the lying.

So I tried online dating a bit.  Just to distract me from my loneliness and yearning to be back with ex.  Ouch. That hurt me.  Played with a few boys. Met up with a few. Slept with one, once. Got dumped twice. Once, kindly, by the one I slept with.  Once, just cut off dead by one I really got very attached to online much too fast.  Pushed me further down the hole.

So the 100 days of solitude also means no more boys.  I need time to separate and heal without becoming obsessed with any of them.  Just to give my heart time to speak.  For my head to hear who I am when I am just me.

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